How to Install Ice Cream Sandwich ROM on Motorola Droid X

by: Alvin YbañezDecember 31, 2011

Though released last year, the Motorola Droid X remains well-loved by those who own one. It was a popular phone during its time, although newer and more power Motorola phones have taken over its place. Can such an “old” phone still enjoy the latest and greatest release of Android? Apparently so.

Disappointed by the lack of developer attention to creating an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Motorola Droid X, a developer has decided to take matter into his own hands and whip up an ICS-based ROM for the Motorola Droid X. The ROM is called EncounterICS X and is a creation of firstEncounter, a member on the RootzWiki forums. The ROM is based on Android 4.0.1 and is still in continuous development, so there are still numerous rough edges.

For now, however, the following features are already working in the ROM:

  • Radio, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi
  • 2D (hardware accelerated) and 3D (still somewhat buggy)
  • Sensors (including rotation/accelerometer)
  • Audio (DSP force closes rarely, but still works)
  • SD Card
  • All hardware buttons
  • Charging
  • USB (including SD mounting)

If you have the boldness for a hacking adventure and if you understand the risks involved, you can flash EncounterICS X ROM to your Motorola Droid X. You’re going to need to root your Droid X first. Check out “How to Root Your Droid X Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread” for some tips on how to do that. Thereafter, you can easily flash the ROM in recovery mode. As usual, make sure you make backups first before you try flashing the ROM to your phone.

  1. Download EncounterICS X from here and save it to your computer.
  2. Download the Google Apps package (gapps) from here and save it to your computer.
  3. Copy the EncounterICS ROM and the Google Apps package to your phone’s storage.
  4. Turn off your phone. Turn it back on again.
  5. When the LED notification light turns blue while the phone is booting up, press the Volume Down key to go into the bootmenu. From the list of items on the menu, choose to go into recovery mode. You can use the volume keys to scroll through the options on the menu. Use the Power button to select an item on the menu.
  6. When in recovery mode, you can use the volume keys to scroll through items, but instead of the Power button, use the camera shutter button to select an option.
  7. Choose “Wipe data/factory reset” to clear your phone’s cache.
  8. Choose “Install zip from SDcard”, then select the ZIP file containing the ROM. Once you confirm to start flashing, the process will immediately start. Repeat this step for the Google Apps package.
  9. Wait for a few minutes for the flashing process to complete.
  10. Reboot your phone. Your Motorola Droid X should now be running EncounterICS X based on Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich.

As has been mentioned, this ROM is still buggy, so don’t expect everything to work perfectly. There are several known bugs with workarounds. Here are some of the known bugs and their respective workarounds:

  • ADB doesn’t work. Turn off the phone. Turn it back on again. While it is booting up, press the Volume Down key when the LED notification light turns blue. You will be taken to the bootmenu. From there, choose “Boot”, then select “2nd-init + adb” from the list. ADB should now work.
  • SD doesn’t mount over USB. Open Terminal Emulator. Run “su” (without the quotes), then run “echo /dev/block/mmcblk0 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file” (also without the quotes). You can also issue the same commands via ADB.
  • Gallery app force closes when gapps is installed. Simply disable the “Sync Google-photos” option for all of your accounts.
  • Android Market doesn’t install apps. As root, issue the command “drmserver &” (without the quotes) in Terminal Emulator. Or, use ADB to issue the command “adb shell drmserver &” (again, without the quotes). The ROM developer has promised a fix for this bug in a newer version of the ROM.
  • Feature XYZ doesn’t work even if the documentation says it does.  Try rebooting the phone.  Some settings and options will activate or stick only after rebooting.  Rebooting can also sometimes make a buggy feature work.

As you can see, installing this ROM to the Droid X is not for the faint of heart, nor will it be a breeze for those with no rooting or flashing experience. Have you tried putting ICS on your Droid X? How did it go?

  • Excellent, dev community is really working hard.

    They should be paid for there work, they have done a lot for us, I have 3 androids and they all have custom roms thanks to them.

  • Will

    Great rom! Installed quickly with clock work mod recovery. The only issue i’m having is that the camera no longer works. I tried restarting but that didn’t help. Hopefully the next update will solve the issue.

    • Tara

      The camera is one thing that currently does NOT work with this rom. Heard the developer is working on it, though.

      • Apapanic

        Hope the camera thing gets fixed anyone have a fix for this? I also heard the speaker doesn’t work while on calls…dealbreaker.

  • Durden Jerry

    Awesome, has been very stable for me all day. Skype isn’t working, but I can wait. THANKS!

  • Owen

    Works well, except the android market doesnt show up, and there for cant download any apps. Please help someone

    • Owen

      Nevermind. Forgot to install the file.


  • Guest09

    i got ics up and going fairly pain free. it barely moves though. when i try and doing anything such as start a different application, change screens anything i get a message xxxxx is not responding do you want to close it or wait. pretty unusable at this point but hoping today is better than last night when it was loaded

    • Gues09

      I grabbed another copy of ROM and went through the process again. Things are running much better now. I am charging things now but am hoping the battery does better now that things are running better. I need a bit better than 2 hours on a charge. I have not loaded too many of the apps i generally use trying to see how the battery turns out first.

  • Tyguy9696

    i tried this,and at step 8 it just says –Install/sdcard…
    Finding update package…
    Opening update package..
    .E:signature verification failed
    Installation aborted

    Please Help!!

    • im getting this also… why?

    • Robotfood7

      I got the same message. please help

      • scott michael

        alright guys its been a month but i just got on here. if anyone is continuing to have this problem its more than likely because you selected “install”. simply pull battery, restart phone go back to clockword mod and manually select the from your sd card when prompted.

        • RM

          I’m still having this issue. I’ve tried clockword mod too

          • Mr. :D

            I got it to work. I used Rom Manager and was able to disable the signature verificatation and it worked.

    • Amaury_2992

      got the same message, help! i can do?

  • Tyguy9696

    Nvm…it shows that the files are currupt

  • Gavsharian

    still cant get my market to download apps need help!!
    i tried both adb and terminal emulator none worked all that came up from terminal emulator was [1] and a random set of 4 numbers ive tried both in SU and regular none worked as for adb the same please help!!

  • Ceb80215

    For some reason it can’t find my mobile Network? any suggestions?

  • K1991

    I followed all of the steps but when I choose install from sd card and choose the correct zip all that happens is it says installation aborted. Any help? Thanks in advanced.


    Works fine minus the little things. tried it I give it a 6 out of 10 @ this point. Ill just stick w/ liquid gb v3.2 other than that love the new features. If the camera was working I just might utilize the ICS rom.

  • Abbottb30

    for all you having problems. it says in the paragraph above it that you “You’re going to need to root your Droid X first.” those are the exact words off the page…

    • cmcguf

      If they’re already running other roms I believe they know that already.

  • Snyderdakota88

    So is the wifi also include tether?

  • Nathaniel Thomas

    Worked like a charm after I did a clean .602 .sbf, updated to .605, rooted, and installed bootstrap and Rom Manager. I also re-downloaded ICSX and Gapps. I can’t believe it worked on my second try! Good stuff!

  • Tbuckley1

    Rooted my phone but when i restart the phone i dont get a notification light?

    • scott michael

      easy way = hold power + home key. youll see a little android with an exclamation point. hit search button. boom. clockwork mod

  • X droid

    I followed the steps perfectly, twice and have bricked my phone twice! I’ll stick with my Liberty3 gold rom!

  • Eric

    Is there a way to go back to gingerbread?

    • Supersgs07

      Do u have knowledge on sbf … ut allows u to go back to stock..

  • Spyro1154

    super users doesnt let me put a custom recorvry >w<

  • RCS

    i never got the blue led notification light ..what do y have to do?

  • RCS

    i dont have network signal!! what should i do?

  • Mark Kedzierski

    My droid x hangs on the Motorola logo after flashing EncounterICS

  • Asnice

    How can I start from the recovery mod after rooting. According to the instruction I have to press down Vol when a blue led light shows up. No such light shows. I have the ICS files on my sd card but I cannot start from the recovery mode. I am using droid X. Any help please.

  • you have to make a “Root” before doing this for the ice cream sandwich and please also need to know if I have to download all three encounterics and Google Apps Help me!

  • Google

    google apps link off